Primary Tools & Materials:
Additional Tools & Materials: alphabet cookie cutters, craft spatula, spray bottle, rolling pin, oven.
This letter is a 3D interpretation of designer Wolfgang Weingart's experimentation with textures during his transition from Swiss design to New Wave beginning in the 1970s. Weingart's work often included dense, layered textures derived from halftone screen printing, photography, and geometry. I decided to emulate this process by spraying semi-diluted ink onto white clay letters, adding another spray of ink after each turn baking in the oven.
To fabricate these letters, I used 2" alphabet cookie cutters, which to my great relief cut the modeling clay cleanly and easily released the letters from the mold. My previous letters that involved clay were riddled with fingerprints, and I really wanted to avoid that for this study so that the ink texture would be most visible. I made three letter Ns, placed them on a cookie sheet, then gave each one a spritz of diluted blue ink, in varying density. The clay called for twenty total minutes of low-heat baking, so after the first five minutes, I sprayed another mist onto two of the three letters. After the next five minutes, I sprayed only the third letter, then let them complete their baking so that when they were done, I had a range of textures from letter to letter.
One of the results of baking the ink onto these letters is that in some spots, the ink spreads out to form a dark, dotted halo that encircles a drip. This happened in at least one place on all three of the letters. I'm not sure why it happened, but it created a lovely variation in the quality of ink splatters through the three letters. To give these letters another layer of dimensionality I photographed them in strong direct light so they'd cast a harsh shadow.